Elizabeth R (1971)

Concept and creative process

A regal and elegant solution was all that was required for the titles of a drama series about the life and times of Queen Elizabeth I, which starred Glenda Jackson in the principal role. A profile bas-relief bust of Elizabeth I was commissioned and shot on a rostrum camera against black velvet. The dramatic lighting gradually increased from rim lighting to full illumination, adding intrigue. The royal signature animated on in sync with the dying chords of the music. This effect was achieved by scraping back or uncovering a back-lit Kodalith of the signature, frame by frame and burning it into the negative of the background shot on a second pass through the camera. This effect was achieved by painting out the signature artwork with black paint, frame by frame, and exposing it on the negative of the Queen in a second pass through the camera.